Dream Smashers – Tibby

tibby_dreamsmasher-a

The Rhythm Heaven series is slowly climbing Nintendo’s ranks to be one of its major IPs alongside the likes of Pikmin and Tomodachi Life yet its relationship with the Super Smash Bros series is an unusual one. The series didn’t make its Smash debut until the latest title on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U where it ultimately received two songs on the Miiverse stage, one enemy in Smash Run (the Sneaky Spirit) and five trophies. This seems rather underwhelming, especially in the song department, but it becomes even more disappointing after the infamous Gematsu rumour that stated the Rhythm Heaven series would be receiving a character in the form of the Chorus Kids from Rhythm Heaven on the DS.

In the end this never happened; however our very own PushDustIn discovered evidence in the files for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U that there was indeed a possible Rhythm Heaven character planned for the game. For whatever reason the character was dropped but it does raise an interesting question. Who is the best rep for the Rhythm Heaven series? The Chorus Kids were the rumoured characters but many across the Internet hoped for Matthew, the Wii titles’ tutorial character instead. Then there is the ever popular Wrestler from Ringside or the recurring Karate Joe character who has been in every game. The problem of a mascot for the series plagued fans but in 2015 Nintendo finally gave them an answer by introducing a story mode to the series for the first time. The star of this story was a little guardian named Tibby and for the first time ever, the Rhythm Heaven series got a main protagonist and a likely contender for the next Super Smash Bros. title.

Who is Tibby?

image17
Credit to TheRealHeroOfWinds for the Splash card
Niche: Afro-bear
Gimmick: Rhythm based fighter

Tibby is the young prince of Heaven World, a land of clouds that exists even beyond the reaches of space. One day Tibby accidentally falls off of Heaven World and comes crashing head-first into Earth. Here he meets and befriends the player who agrees to help Tibby find a way home. While Tibby starts off as a bit of a crybaby, his adventures on Earth and the people he meets down there help to give him the resolve and confidence he will need to become a good ruler one day. On Tibby’s journey he must master the ‘flow’ by playing lots of rhythm games that somehow help the people out of their problems. The Tibby in Super Smash Bros. would be the more confident version who has already mastered his flow and now wields it to attack in various ways.

 

Importance to Nintendo/Series?

tib

Tibby has a quite a few advantages to him appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series. Not only is he the only real protagonist of the series, but also his game came out recently making him the most relevant character. The series has been getting bigger and better over the years, becoming a major Nintendo series. With evidence that this series was planned to have a playable character already it seems plausible that if this idea ever gets revisited Tibby would be the first choice. If he ever comes back for a new Rhythm Heaven title then I would feel even more confident about his position as the series’ new mascot but only time will tell.

 

How will he play?

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Credit to theAnvil for the initial sprite and Nantendo for the recolours.

Tibby’s default color is his pink outfit and the rest of his colored alts are all based on the colors of the rainbow as it is the power of the rainbow that Tibby must harness in order to get home. Plus, each area and character in game is based around one of these seven colors, so it fits Tibby even more.

Now for some statistics:

  • Can they crawl: No
  • Can they wall jump: No
  • How many jumps do they have: 2
  • Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
  • Weight Class: D
  • Height Class: C
  • Speed Class: D
  • Are they mirrored when they faces left: No

*i.e. Peach’s float

(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)

Tibby is just a fraction taller than Mario although this is largely due to his big afro. This makes all of Tibby’s hitboxes lower down than normal. He is a fairly light character and is about as fast as Ness is.

As the only character from the Rhythm Heaven series, Tibby holds the role of representing his entire series and the only way he can do that successfully is by being a character who is all about the ‘flow’. The flow is a major component of the Rhythm Heaven series; the magical energy that people can harness by following the beat of the music. As someone who becomes a master of the flow by the end of the game, Tibby can use it to harness the powers of all those Rhythm games and convert it into energy to beat his opponents with it. The only way this can be done, however, is by following his internal beat and this is where Tibby’s main gimmick comes into play.

rhythm-heaven-megamix-tibby

Tibby follows a ‘dum-dum-dum-dum’ beat that starts as soon as you press the attack button. Pressing the buttons again to this beat allows Tibby to pull off stronger or slightly altered attacks that are more effective as they utilize the flow. For some attacks it involves pressing the same button again while some, like his aerials, can be comboed into one another as long as the beat is followed. A good example of what this move takes is his standard Jab combo which is based on the recurring Karate Man game. Here, Tibby punches forward with the arm furthest away from the screen. If players spam the button with no sense of rhythm then Tibby will throw weak jabs at his opponents, but if you time it right, then the attacks become much stronger and will allow Tibby to deal a finishing blow with his other hand.

This gimmick is more complex than other characters in Smash and will require some slight tweaking to the Smash formula just for Tibby but we have seen this before with Ryu and Rosalina so we know Sakurai can be willing if he finds this concept appealing. Heck, it might’ve been why he considered a Rhythm Heaven character in the first place because the idea of a rhythm based fighter was unique. It would require lots of play-testing to get right but I feel this kind of moveset is possible in the Smash series and below is a moveset that shows you how.

Kirby hat: Kirby gets Tibby’s big pink afro although on Kirby it is hard to tell when the hair ends and the body begins!

Move Name & Action

Description
Entrance Tibby falls from ‘Heaven World’ (i.e. the top of the screen)
Idle image18

Tibby stands there, his arms swaying back and forth.

Idle 2 image08

Tibby puts his hands behind his back and gives a look of distrust.

Walking Tibby’s walk cycle is a standard walk cycle.
Running image35

Tibby runs like the mice from Rat Race.

Jump image10

Tibby jumps like the guy from Night Walk.

image28

His double jump has him wave his arms on the side like the microbes in Micro-row.

Falling Animation/Damage image31

When Tibby falls he does the pose of the Bunny from Bunny Hop but more panicked.

image05

When he is hurt he does his own pose that is used for hunger in the games.

Neutral/Jabs image22

Tibby’s jab is a reference to Karate Man. As explained above doing it to the beat will produce more powerful jabs and allow for a finishing blow.

F-Tilt image12

Tibby’s forward tilt is a reference to Lockstep. It is similar to the Wii Fit Trainer’s side-smash but not as strong. When done to the beat it has a longer reach and a piercing effect on the point.

Up-Tilt image23

Tibby claps above his head like the Lion cubs from Clappy Trio. The attack is stronger when done to the beat.

D-Tilt image04

With Tibby’s down-tilt he rolls on the ground like the Seals from Flipper-Flop. Unlike King Dedede, who also rolls with his down-tilt, Tibby will roll back and forth on the spot but must be done to the beat in order to keep this up otherwise he will flop and not flip.

Dash Attack image00

With the help of the flow Tibby moves forward as if he was in the minigame Airboarders. This attack is one of the only ones that doesn’t require following the beat as it is a one-stage attack but pressing jump at the right time allows Tibby to jump into an aerial combo with no lag.

Forward Smash image33

Using the flow Tibby swings an ethereal Sword in front of him. If you press the A button at the right time Tibby will follow it up with a swing behind him. References Samurai Slice.

Up Smash image16

Tibby holds a sign above his head. While charging he spins the sign and this can damage opponents. Letting go of the A button at the right time affects the success of this attack. Doing it correctly has Tibby hold a sign above his head with a random image on it. Messing it up causes Tibby to hold up the sign at an awkward angle and mess up the attack. References Cheer Readers.

Down Smash image20

For Tibby’s down smash, a piece of wood from LumBEARjack appears in front of Tibby and you have to time when to release the attack to swing down with your axe and cause damage.

N-air image26

Like the boars from Board Meeting Tibby will spin around in the air. Pressing the button to the beat will keep Tibby’s spin going.

F-air image30

Tibby swings forward with a badminton racket as if participating in Air Rally. Pressing this to the beat will allow for stronger follow-up swings.

B-air image19

Tibby turns around to face behind him and hits a Tambourine. Pressing this to the beat will allow for stronger follow-up attacks.

U-air image15

Tibby swings an ethereal knife from his right hand by using the flow. Press it again and he swings his left hand and can keep this up with the beat for stronger swings. This references Ninja Dog.

D-air image09

Tibby holds a pineapple downwards. Like the Villagers’ turnip attack but it is always one. Tibby holds it from the leaf end and it has a meteor effect but that only happens if you attack to the beat. This references Clappy Tune.

Grab Tibby’s grab has no reference. He does not have a very long reach.
Pummel image32

Tibby pummels like a Sumo Brother by slapping the opponent. The pummel keeps up based on how much the player keeps to the beat.

F-throw image14

Tibby throws his opponent upward and then bunts them like the team from Bossa Nova.

B-throw Tibby spins around and throws his opponent upward, then bunts them like the team from Bossa Nova. This references how that game spins the player around.
U-throw image27

Tibby throws the opponent up in the air like the pillows from Pajama Party.

D-throw image29

Tibby throws the opponent onto the ground and then tap dances on them. Pressing the button to the beat will keep up the dance. This references Tap Troupe.

Neutral Special 1:  Glee Club image07

Tibby’s neutral special has him join the Glee Club. This is a three button attack. Pressing it just once has Tibby make a small scream attack, damaging those close to him. Pressing it again to the beat makes it slightly stronger and once more makes it really loud and far reaching.

Neutral Special 2:  Explosive Club With this custom the first two attacks are weak but the large one ends in a literal explosion of noise.
Neutral Special 3: Upwards Club This custom functions like the first one but Tibby is facing upwards so all of his attacks are directed above him making it good for juggling but not stopping incoming enemies.
Side Special 1: Rhythm Rally image13

This is Tibby’s lone projectile attack. Tibby hits a ping pong ball ahead of him the bounces along the ground. The ball is small and doesn’t do much damage but Tibby has no limit to the amount of times he can hit as long as he keeps the beat. This is based on the Rhythm Rally game.

Side Special 2: Rhythm Rally Arc For this custom the ball moves in a much higher and slower arc. This covers more area for the balls to hit opponents but they can also dodge it more easily due to its speed.
Side Special 3: Rhythm Shot For this custom the ball doesn’t bounce on the ground and Tibby hits it as far as he can. Opponents can run under this one but it has a longer reach.
Up Special 1: See-Saw image11

This move is the only special to not follow the beat. A See-Saw appears with one of the guys and he lands on the opposite end, launching Tibby skyward. The See-Saw stays there and other people can jump on it to launch the man upward and into air bound opponents. However he will disappear after this along with the See-Saw.

Up Special 2:  Close-Saw Tibby will be closer to the center of the See-Saw when it spawns and so won’t be launched as high. However he hurts opponents who he collides with making it a good attack but a weaker recovery.
Up Special 3:  Spiked-Saw When the other guy lands on the See-Saw he will explode into spikes. The spikes act as a small attack around the base of the See-Saw and Tibby still gets launched upward; however the See-Saw disappears straight away.
Down Special 1: Karate Man Senior image34

Tibby’s down special references Karate Man Senior’s signature combo. This move does not have much reach but when first pressed Tibby punches forward. Then as the button is held down Tibby goes into a combo attack. Once released on time it ends with an uppercut. Missing that timing though has devastating consequences as Tibby will mess up and be in a tripped over state, vulnerable to any attack.

Down Special 2: Karate Man Kick This combo and method is the same as above but rather than end in an uppercut it ends in a kick. The uppercut launches opponents upwards whereas this one knocks them away.
Down Special 3: Karate Man Suction This attack does less damage but during the combo it sucks opponents in towards Tibby. This makes it easier to get the finishing blow but the consequences are higher if he messes it up.
Final Smash: Samurai Drummer image03

Tibby’s final smash has Samurai Drummer’s drum kit appear and he hits on it to the beat of a tune. This Final Smash is basically the same as Donkey Kong’s. This is the first mini-game in the series so it fits for a final smash.

Up Taunt image25

Tibby poses and roars while the Flow creates the form of the wrestler doing the same thing behind him. This references the game Ringside.

Side Taunt image24

Tibby shows a shocked expression and holds his hands in the air.

Down Taunt image02

Tibby puts his hands above his head like the monkeys in Tap Trail and taps his feet three times.

Victory animation 1 image01

Tibby jumps around the victory screen cheering for himself.

Victory animation 2 image21

Tibby pulls a pose as the silhouette of a bunch of reporters pop up and take pictures. This is another reference to Ringside.

Victory animation 3 Tibby plays a beat on Samurai Drummer’s drums before stopping to wipe the sweat from his forehead.

 

Tibby’s victory theme would be a remix of the beginning of the superb theme in Rhythm Heaven Fever.


With that you have a potential Rhythm Heaven fighter. But that is not all the series could offer the Super Smash Bros. games. Today, Rhythm Paradise Megamix launches in Europe and Australia making the game available in all of the world’s major territories. If you are interested in picking it up then make sure to check out our review of the game. Stay tuned to later today where we will be presenting a new entry in the Dream Arena series by presenting a possible stage for the Rhythm Heaven series. Until then make sure to keep your flow in check, your rhythm going and your day wonderful!

Nantendo
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6 comments

  1. Ah, the ever elusive Rhythm Heaven rep. Its too bad they missed this iteration of Smash but so long as the series keeps going strong I imagine they’ll still have a good shot at making it into the next installment. Regardless of who the spot ultimately goes to I think they absolutely have to reference a wide variety of rhythm games in their moveset as you’ve laid out here.

    I’m not convinced Tibby is being set up as a series-wide mascot yet, and could easily see him going the way of Marshall and simply remaining the face of Megamix. Still, if you had to pick one game’s mascot the one from the game all about celebrating the history of the series is probably a fair choice.

    Its by no means a must have but I’d personally like the Rhythm Heaven rep to have some obvious association with music in their design, something Tibby lacks. I just kinda feel this would be effective in representing what the series is about to players who aren’t familiar with it. For this reason if I had to choose a character I think I’d go with the Chorus Kid(s) (with them being singers and the pseudo mascots of the DS game by virtue of being the only characters on the boxart) or the Barista (the headphones serving as a clear connection to music and the character having a major role in every game, though they often aren’t actually seen). Tibby is still a choice I’d be fine with though, even more so if he really does end up having major roles in future games.

    The beat keeping gimmick is something I’ve thought about, and while it may work it has its fair share of problems to overcome. If the beat is consistent for the whole match then it would be challenging to pick up once lost without some visual or audio cue. If the beat can start, stop, and be reset, then after starting a beat how long must the character wait without attacking before they’ll be able to start another beat with an attack as opposed to being considered off-beat? If the time frame is too long you run into the same problem as having a constant beat, if its too short you run the risk of having every attack the character performs starting a new beat and kinda defeat the purpose of the gimmick.

    There’s also the issue of background music. Keeping a beat is much easier when listening to music that follows it, however its even more difficult to do while listening to music that has a different beat. In Smash’s case that latter scenario would almost always be true. Tibby runs the risk of being a character that’s easier to be successful with in absence of music.

    Another potentially issue with the way you’ve implemented this mechanic is there seem to be a fair number of moves that punish the player for missing the beat. I see this potentially turning off any players who aren’t willing to learn and adapt to Tibby’s unique playstyle. Compare this to Ryu, there are benefits to using his unique mechanics but nothing that would lead players to believe their being punished for playing him like a normal character. Making sticking to beat deal more damage seems fine, but having attacks visibly fail or mess up for missing a beat might be pushing it if done too often.

    Its a tricky mechanic to be sure and I can’t honestly say I have any idea how well it’d work with the inability to actually try it. If it did turn out to be too impractical you could probably slim down the general concept enough to make it work though. Perhaps simply give him moves that rely on timing. Maybe akin to the Wii Fit Trainer’s side-B which shoot a projectile at a different angle depending on the time between button presses, or her down-B which requires timing to get the best result. Your smash attacks already kinda seem to work like this. I like the general idea of making timing a more important factor for the RH rep than it would be for most characters, so you’re certainly on the right track.

    As to the moveset itself you did a great job pulling actions from a variety of games and converting them into attacks. Given how many games there are to pull from you could probably make several movesets in this style without any overlap, Tibby is certainly not lacking in potential. The one thing I think I’d change is the Final Smash, rather than having it reference a single game I think I’d have it take the form of the series’ ultimate showstopper, the Remix. I don’t really have any specific details in mind but I imagine the move would pull characters and elements from a lot of games and have them wreak havoc across the stage. Perhaps similar to how Pit’s FS throws out a wide variety of different attacks in quick succession. Remixs are meant to be the most challenging of the series’ games and also have arguably the most spectacle, seems like a natural fit for a Final Smash.

    Solid job overall, nice to see Rhythm Heaven getting the recognition it deserves.

  2. Tibby doesn’t really remind me of Rhythm Heaven as much as the Chorus Kids. But by not being related to any mini-game in particular, he lends himself well to represent the series as a whole like you’ve done with his moveset. I think what you’ve done is pretty clever.

  3. I’m a big fan of Rhythm Heaven, so it’s cool to see the series getting some love. While there are some cool ideas presented in the moveset, though, I think that it also has some flaws.

    The rhythm mechanic is the main attraction here, and while it conveys the basic idea of Rhythm Heaven, I also think that it has some issues in terms of implementation. As Mettaur pointed out, finding and keeping a beat is very tricky without a music track or preexisting beat to go off of. One solution might be to make the beat depend on the background music, but that has issues in that the beat can be hard to keep in the midst of a match. In my opinion, the ideal implementation is to have attacks that have a cue built-in. For example, during a smash attack’s charge, a rhythmic cue could play, and then you’d have to release the attack at the right time. Or a two-part attack could have a sound play when you press the button, with the attack coming out after a half-second, and then you have to press the button again after another half-second (with the beat) to perform the second hit. This way, the core of Rhythm Heaven is represented, but in a way that’s easier to understand and less intrusive to the match.

    Speaking of representing Rhythm Heaven’s essence, it’s cool that you incorporated elements from throughout the series… but I think that it might be missing the point. While representing Rhythm Heaven is of course a priority, it’s also important to keep in mind that you’re making a moveset for an actual character. Tibby lacks defining abilities and traits, yes, but that doesn’t mean that whatever you decide to give him as an attack will fit. Stuff like the tilts are fun references through attack animations, but it gets iffy when Tibby starts using random props such as an axe or tennis racket. There’s no connection here other than that they all happened to appear in minigames, and they don’t really fit Tibby’s character at all. See-saws and fruits aren’t the core of Rhythm Heaven, the music element is. You might say that this is all that Tibby could really do, given his lack of moveset potential inherit to himself… which brings me to the topic of character selection.

    I don’t think that Tibby is the best choice for a Rhythm Heaven representative. He is the most prominent character in the latest game, yes, but one major factor in choosing a character is what moveset potential the character has. Tibby, to be frank, lacks much moveset potential at all as far as Rhythm Heaven goes. Beyond the rhythm element, he doesn’t have any abilities or skills that could be translated into attacks. (Using “flow” to create weapons made of energy is really stretching it, I think.) For a Rhythm Heaven character, I would go with a character who has more to draw from in terms of a moveset; I’m leaning toward the Wandering Samurai, of Samurai Slice fame. He may be a sword character, but he also has a lot going for him. The Samurai has appeared in all four Rhythm Heaven games (as well as a cameo appearance in WarioWare), and has potential for moves as well as being a good fit for the rhythm mechanics. His sword attacks from all four games could be translated to Smash easily, as could his moves such as the Whirlwind Slice and his electricity attack from Megamix, while his Specials could consist of things like a rhythm-based parry like the Super Samurai Slice maneuver, riding the skateboard from Megamix (or the bird in midair), and even summoning the dark spirits from his Fever version as a projectile. He could even slice them to power up his sword with their energy, or knock them towards opponents; and the cloud could spit out spirits at a rhythmic rate after being summoned, requiring good rhythm to be utilized effectively.

    Rhythm Heaven is certainly a tricky series to translate into a fighter, having so many characters and an unorthodox gimmick. While putting a lot of references and props that showcase all of the minigames might pull a lot from the series, I think that it’s missing what makes Rhythm Heaven what it is. Rhythm Heaven, at its core, isn’t about all of the props or even the minigames; it’s about keeping the beat, perfect timing, and mastery. The props are only surface-level elements, and won’t make any sense unless you’re already familiar with Rhythm Heaven. It’s like having a Mario moveset where each attack is a different power-up; power-ups are a big element of Mario, but the games are all about being easy to pick up and fun to play, but also allowing for some development in skill. Mario in Smash accomplishes this by being simple to understand, but having some combos and strategies to work on as you grow in terms of skill. In the same way, the main focus of a Rhythm Heaven moveset should be the rhythm itself, as opposed to surface-level props. By doing this, it becomes possible to simultaneously represent Rhythm Heaven as well as the actual character, using the abilities and traits of the character to convey the core essence of Rhythm Heaven.

  4. I haven’t played the Rhythm Heaven series before (because I terrible suck at all rhythm games), so I really don’t know what the game is really all about. I know much about the characters, but never knew if it had a storyline or not. But at least I understood that the new version contains story mode, and bringing Tibby other than the Chorus Kids and Mathew which both characters may not have a personality is quite a good idea. I do remember people were strongly wanted the Chorus Kids to be in Smash, which I really didn’t understand why. I personally voted for Mathew instead since he was iconic to me, but also realized some people also voted for other characters like the Karate Man and the Wrestler dude. I do remember one person made a entry video which I knew it was a fake in the first place, but it really looked great as it looked so real…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSMarRJrzDs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-pCtO41tNc

    Using many rhythm mini game references as Tibby’s movesets does make perfect sense. I do see using Tibby may look so difficult to control if the player’s not good at following the beat (like myself), but even then this character does look very unique entirely. I think we’ll see him or any other RH character for the possible Smash Switch, and use this mechanic in battle.

  5. While Tibby himself may not be the most interesting character in the Rhythm Heaven series, choosing him does present the option of referencing several mini-games in one character, as opposed to other popular picks who would be stuck with their own games. I like the direction you took it in, and while I do have trouble imagining how I’d play a rhythm-based character in a fighting game, I think you’re on the right track. As people have mentioned before me, the biggest issue is keeping the beat. If it’s his own beat that’s independent of the music, then the music that’s playing might mess with player’s timing. If it’s to the beat of the music, then he’ll end up playing differently according to what song is being played, which would complicate learning him. At the same time, I can’t imagine a Rhythm Heaven character without some sort of timing/rhythm mechanic, so I don’t know if there’s any easy way to go about it.

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